The I Ching, the Book of Change, the foundation of all Chinese religion and science, is an ancient Chinese divination text that provides influential text in religion, literature, and art. It provided guidance for moral decision making, based on Taoism and Confucianism. The I Ching can be read as a microcosm of the universe, explaining how to keep human behavior in unity with the alternating series of nature. Chinese tradition was divided into Confucianism, the exoteric, and Taoism, the esoteric, but both see the world and ‘God’ as a whole, the cosmos. Although different, both religions allowed their followers to find “God” in all things, Confucianism through the natural order, and Taoism through the Tao. Both of these religions encouraged knowledge beyond the physical world and beyond that which can be known with the senses.
In the Tao of Pooh the author, Benjamin Hoff, uses the from world-famous children's book/TV show character, Winnie the Pooh in order to explain the basics of Taoism. He observed many of the other various characters before coming to the conclusion that Winnie the Pooh, through his actions, was the character that he felt would be able to best explain the principles of Taoism. One of the most important principles of Taoism is "the Uncarved Block". The main principle behind the Uncarved Block is that things in their original state contain their own natural power, a power that is easily corrupted and lost when simplicity is changed.
This expression can have many benefits. However, if taken literally, can be a detriment to society. What Lao-tzu meant when he said this was that when a government tries to “change the world” they would inevitably drive their constituents to an overly powerful government. When one “stays in the circle of Tao” they are able to let things happen naturally, and the world continues on in a way not affected by human error. However, in order to stay in the circle, one must “practice” being a trustworthy and compassionate person. The people and the government must work hard to build a relationship together that allows for all to be successful.
Tao Te Ching of Lao-Tzu is a book with many chapters in it showing the two different sides to basically everything. To break it down, Tao means “path” or “way”, Te means “to get”, and Ching means “great book”. So the Tao was the force that controlled the universe and appreciated the way, to find balance between opposites. The book, Tao Te Ching has been said to been written by a Laozi—an old master—and has been said that the true author (or authors’) name has been lost. In the chapters between the book it tells how to live a life of integrity and of greatness per say. It also has contradictions or paradoxes which allows us to see the both perspectives of each side. It shows us that there are always two sides to everything. Tao Te Ching
In “The Daodejing,” Laozi, similar to many prominent Chinese philosophers before and after his time, discusses his unique perspective of the “Way.” There is much controversy, however, regarding whether Laozi was the actual author of this text or was even a real person, and “his” work is thought to have been a composite. (For the purpose of clarity, throughout this paper, the author(s) of “The Daodejing” will be mentioned as Laozi.) Laozi’s vision of the “Way” is exceptionally challenging to define using words because of its metaphysical nature. Although this term is somewhat difficult to envision, it is what mankind should aspire and take action to be aligned with. According to Laozi, in “readings in Classical Chinese Philosophy,” the “Way” (or dao) is the “source, sustenance, and ideal state of all things in the world” (Laozi 158). It can be best thought of as the underlying guiding force of all events that occur in the universe, and mankind is closer to the “Way” when they realize that all things are interconnected and have an effect on one another. As might be expected, this vague definition isn’t a foolproof depiction of the eighty-one chapters in the “Daodejing,” but one is able to grasp a basic understanding of Laozi’s ineffable doctrine. Although numerous chapters are meaningful and could provide substantial analysis, this paper will focus in on Chapter Twelve. Ultimately, this chapter adequately and efficaciously compresses the teachings of “The Daodejing” into
The main focus of Tao Te Ching is non-action. For example, people do not need regulation and laws. According to Taoism, all human beings are naturally good but the laws and regulations have altered people’s belief
Another central Taoist concept is Wu-Wei, which can be translated as "the action that comes from not doing". Though there are multiple interpretations of the Chinese character symbolizing this concept, the general idea seems to be another paradox; to accomplish something by doing nothing. The foundational writings on this concept can be seen in the Taoist text on
‘The way’ is cluttered with constant imagery of contradictory views which are both compelling and insightful, through which we are taken on a journey, our final destination being the true meaning of life. In a world where we are all yearning for the meaning for life, true harmony and real balance it is no surprise that the Tao Te Ching is a very haunting piece of literature that holds the reader in an almost trans like state of mind as it attempts to portray the way to accomplish the above.
Yin – yang is a Chinese philosophical way of embracing human thought which considers two dimensions including humanity, character, and situations in life. This philosophy emphasizes that two complementary forces exists in the universe that are mutually opposed to one another but still remain in unity. According to “Hegelian, Yi-Jing, and Buddhist Transformational Models for Comparative Philosophy”, it is believed that the two forces are dependent on another and are well balanced (Robert 6). This paper intends to explore the major aspects of yin-yang way of thinking, how it affects the Confucius and Lao Zi ways of viewing happenings in the universe and the application of this kind of thought to the contemporary society
Taoism and Confucianism are two primary Chinese ways of thinking. Historically, these two philosophies have been viewed as polar opposites, but upon further research, they have the same mission. The belief system of Taoism viewed in Tao Te Ching, written by Lao Tzu, is the monistic belief that human kind has a connection to the universe, and the “way” controls your life and everything that you do. The “way” has a pre-determined plan for your life, and you must sit back and follow it. On the other hand, Confucianism represented in The Art of War, shows that you have to work and discipline yourself to become complete. The Art of War is essentially a “battle plan”, and “Tao Te Ching “ is a essentially a book of ultimate humility. These two pieces seem quite different with their own different goals. While Confucianism and Taoism have different ways of reaching their respective goals, their goals and their destiny is essentially the same: and that is self-control.
Nowadays, people call the first level Tao, “Tao of Heaven”[ Yates, R. (1997). Five lost classics : Tao, Huanglao, and Yin-yang in Han China / translated, with an introduction, and commentary by Robin D.S. Yates. (First ed., Classics of ancient China).26-29]. The second level of Tao is the rule or rules of Tao to create or derive everything on the Earth, “the Tao produced One; One produced Two; Two produced Three; Three produced All things”.[ Tao Te Ching, chapter 42] In other words, Tao transforms to chaos; the chaos transforms to Yin and Yang; Mix Yin and Yang to the balance point; Everything would created from Yin, Yang, and the balance point of Yin and Yang. The third level of Tao is the way to use Taoism ideology in life. The founder of philosophical Taoism is Lao Tzu, who also is known as Old Master or Laozi.[ Creel, H. G., 2-5] The Dialectic thoughts and the Tao of third level are full of his books, Tao Te Ching, for example, chapter 58 of Tao Te Ching:“Misery！——happiness is to be found by its side！Happiness！——misery lurks beneath it！Who knows what either will come to in the end?”[ Lao tzu, 老子, Tao Te Ching
Tao-te Ching (in English pronounced “dow deh jing”) is believed to be written by Lao-tzu (6th century B.C). However, it is not for certain that he wrote the book. Lao-tzu is translated as “Old Master”. He was born in the state of Ch’u in China. It’s been said that he worked in the court of the Chou dynasty. The day that he was leaving the court to start his own life, the keeper of the gate urged him to write his thoughts as a book. Lao-tzu’s work mostly illustrates Taoism –a religion founded by Chang Tao-ling A.D. 150. His main purpose in this piece is practicing peace, simplicity, naturalness, and humility. Lao-tzu believes that people are overloaded with temporal objects in this world. He recommends his readers to let go of everything
In order to become a virtuous person an individual must become one with the Tao, an example of a good life is found in Chuang Tzu – Basic writings, “If you do good, stay away from fame. If you do evil, stay away from punishments. Follow the middle; go by what is constant, and you can stay in one piece, keep yourself alive, look after your parents, and live out your years.” (Section three, p46). In order to become one with the Tao and individual must understand the Way and example of the Way “…For this reason, whether you point to a little stalk or a great pillar, a leper or the beautiful Hsi-shih, things ribald and shady or things grotesque and strange, the Way makes them all into one.” (Section two, p. 36) The Way is having the ability to consider all things one. Looking at the creatures of the world without bias and treating everything and everyone as equal. In order to follow the Way one must gain enlightenment, to gain enlightenment one must heavy focus on meditation. Taoists believe that time is cyclical, not linear as many in the West believe, therefore time repeats itself, has no beginning and no end. Tao is considered to be the first cause of the universe, and is the force that
Unlike the Confucians, who actively tried to change the political system, Taoists pursue wuwei (nonaction) in living. According to the Tao Te Ching, by not acting one is not doing any harm which is the result of surrendering to the Tao. By doing such, one no longer has a corrupt nature and is moral and perfect human. If a person is in harmony with the Tao they are also in harmony with all
The Taoist philosophy followed an interesting circle. On one hand, that Taoists rejected the regulation of life and society and preached instead to turn away from it to a solitary meditation of nature. On the other hand, they believed that by doing this one could ultimately have power enough to harness the whole universe. That by doing "nothing" one could accomplish "everything".